For as long as we’ve been able to peer longingly over the counter of a sweet shop, we’ve all been told that there are some things that we just can’t eat indefinitely. As nice as it would be to eat all the chocolate in the world, doctors, dentists and other very serious people keep insisting that, for the sake of our teeth and gums, we have to exercise at least some control. Some people are just no fun.
Knowing that there are certain foods that we have to eat in moderation has made us look for equally delicious alternatives. These usually make us feel incredibly virtuous for having restrained our natural impulse to binge. How foolish we have been. As it turns out, there are plenty of foods out there that might seem harmless, but can be incredibly damaging, both in the long and short term. To help you identify potential dangers, here are the eight foods that are way worse for your teeth than you might think
1. Fizzy water
You could be forgiven that opting for fizzy water is way more sensible than a standard serving of soda. Whilst it’s definitely free from many of the sugars that give soda such a bad name, the process of carbonating any drink actually makes it more acidic, which can also damage teeth.
2. Diet Soda
They might be sugar free, but diet sodas are far from harmless. Not only are they carbonated, but many of the chemicals that are included in order to reproduce soda’s sweet flavours can be dangerous in their own right and also contribute to tooth decay.
Just because something is savoury doesn’t mean it can’t hurt your teeth. Crisps, which are made from starchy potatoes, naturally break down into sugars when they enter your mouth, harming your teeth and gums. The fact that they also clump between your teeth makes them doubly dangerous.
Much like crisps, the starch in white bread also turns to sugar as soon as you start chewing. To make the situation worse, white bread already contains high levels of sugar as a flavour enhancer.
Not only do many drinks, such as ciders, wine and cocktails contain copious amounts of added sugar, but there’s an even more insidious problem with drinking that can do damage to your teeth. It might be delicious, but alcohol is full of chromogens - coloured chemicals that can stain your teeth when you drink.
6. Dried Fruit
Just because it has fruit written on the box doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for you. What makes dried fruit particularly bad for your teeth is that it’s gummy consistency helps the food work its way into the cracks between your teeth, where the sugars can go unchecked for several hours.
You might think that there’s no harm in what is simply solid water, there’s more to ice than meets the eye. Dentists have warned that chewing on any hard substances can chip enamel and help cracks to develop in teeth - not ideal for anyone trying to look after their mouth.
Pickles are experiencing a popularity boom at the moment. As tasty as they are, however, there are a few unfortunate side effects to being a fan. The vinegar used to preserve them is highly acidic, which can be a key contributor to tooth decay.
As annoying as it is to find out that eating your favourite things can have unwanted consequences, it’s best you find out sooner or later. No one wants to be crunching on an ice cube, only to have to book an emergency dental appointment. At least now you have no excuse.